When we started using AWeber (aff) we already had a long list of prospects and clients who we emailed our monthly newsletter. Before we switched to AWeber this Newsletter was created with Groupmail5. A handy program (the simple version free) but not with all the features AWeber possesses. Whenever we managed to receive an email address from a prospect or client we added it manually to the Groupmail program, whoever indicated he/she didn't want to receive our newsletter anymore we had to remove manually from the list.
AWeber works completely different with many more options. Automation for one thing. Our website has various AWeber webforms: some inline, some hoover over, some with multiple options for leaflets and some with multiple tick boxes. Whenever someone fills in one of the 'webforms' his/her name and email address is automagically added to the list - but only after he/she confirmes the wish to be added (verified opt-in method). The odd person who wants to unsubscribe from the list can do so by clicking a specific link that is always (automagically) added in every message sent with the AWeber system.
This however meant that we had to add our existing newsletter readers to our new automated system, asking them to opt-in for this list if they still wanted to receive this. We've tried out 2 methods for this, both on a group of 100 readers.
Method 1: with the Groupmail5 program we wrote a special message to this group of 100 readers, explaining we were switching to a new delivery system for the newsletter and giving them a weblink to click, which brought them on our "Subscribe to our Newsletter" webpage. On there they had to fill in name and email address in a webform, click submit, receive the Confirm Subscription email and in there click the confirmation link. Many steps to take to re-register their interest in our monthly news. 5 did take all the steps, 95 didn't.
Method 2: in AWeber we wrote a special Confirm Subscription message, explaining we were switching to a new delivery system for the newsletter. We imported the email addresses of our second group of 100 readers in AWeber, which once uploaded (this can take up to 4 hours) would all receive the special Confirm Subscription message in their inbox. All they had to do was click the confirmation link in that message to re-register their interest in our monthly news. 1 step in all.
53 did, 42 didn't and another 5 of the emails were undeliverable.
Shortening the decision cycle: make it very simple for someone to make that decision you like them to make - eliminate all unnecessary steps. And our trial proved this again.
After this trial in best methods we simply imported all email addresses (including the 95 from method 1 who hadn't re-registered yet) and sat back.
Of course we lost a number of subscribers this way, but that is not as bad as it sounds. Who would you rather email? Someone who took (how ever tiny) steps to indicate they would like to receive your news and/or information (qualified prospects) or someone you think might be interest (unqualified prospects)?
After the switch operation we were left with 60% qualified prospects from the original newsletter list. And this list has grown ever since, all with readers really interested in our news - not just because we think they would like to hear from us. They opted-in especially.
So if you are switching from one email 'bulk' messaging program to AWeber make it as simple as possible for your existing subscribers to switch with you and in the same time end up with only qualified prospects.
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